The Conference Board Reports Consumer Confidence Held Steady in May

The Conference Board, a non-partisan, not-for-profit think tank founded in 1916, released today (5-25-21) their Consumer Confidence Index® (CCI) for May 2021. The CCI held steady in May following gains in April and a strong monthly gain in March. The Index now stands at 117.2 (1985=100), down slightly from 117.5 in April. The Present Situation Index — based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions — increased from 131.9 to 144.3. The Expectations Index — based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions — declined from 107.9 last month to 99.1 in May. In a statement prepared for the release of this month’s CCI, Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board said, “After rebounding sharply in recent months, U.S. consumer confidence was essentially unchanged in May. Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions improved, suggesting economic growth remains robust in Q2. However, consumers’ short-term optimism retreated, prompted by expectations of decelerating growth and softening labor market conditions in the months ahead. Consumers were also less upbeat this month about their income prospects — a reflection, perhaps, of both rising inflation expectations and a waning of further government support until expanded Child Tax Credit payments begin reaching parents in July. Overall, consumers remain optimistic, and confidence should remain resilient in the short term, as vaccination rates climb, COVID-19 cases decline further, and the economy fully reopens.”

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The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® Virtually Unchanged as Expectations Soften